“Tiphane” Grammostola porteri mature female 6″ My first and still favorite.

A new take on my old “last bits”.
I ranted like crazy about this on faffbook in a local group. Posting the 2-part rant here for posterity:
Local shops rant #1
Irritated. There are times in this hobby when I get pissed about pricing. Specifically local herp (reptiles and snakes) shops. Been on the hunt for a B. smithi for awhile now, and found two…one at a local reptile store, and the other at…drumroll…Petco. Same size, everything. (juvenile to young adult approx 3-3.5″)
Guess who wanted 150+$ and were offended when I counter offered the price range I KNEW I could get the T for?
Then wild guess who sold me mine for 75$?
People hate on the chain stores, but I have had better luck in general with them then the “locals” in this hobby.
I do not and will not name names. Just “local” ranting. :-/
Local shops rant #2:
I have yet to see a listing of T’s on ANY local pet store website. No prices, no species, nothing. Unless you call. Then it is, “Oh sure, we have a lot of them, come on down.” And when you do, you generally will see outrageous prices that would drive an online vendor out of business faster than you can shake your head as no one would make that kind of buy.
While I will exclude Naturebox (local vendor here in Denver) from the pricing irritation (they are an excellent source for reasonably priced tarantulas), even that store has a website section for spiders that is empty and has been since I first checked em’ out quite some time ago.
On the other hand, online vendors look like the 2nd picture.  Species, new arrivals, availability/sold out info, origin locale info, pricing, and general information as to species care.
Consider this an “I wish” posting rather than grrr argh.
[Aside, there were some web captures illustrating my points. I’ll leave them out of this post as they are local to the Denver area, and this blog has a wider reach. ┬áJust pretend you saw blank pages where listings should go. heh.]
addendum to the rant:
I just saw an A. versicolor 1/2″ sling selling for 60$ on a shelf at a local shop. Almost choked. Then I looked at the other selections, some of which were absolutely crazy high as well.
Then when I asked why the prices were so high, I received the stock used car salesman answer, “Oh they’re on consignment.” -this is a magic term for “just because we think there are enough suckers who will pay it.”

Aphonopelma seemanni

Back to me blabbing on the blog here:

I do not know if this tracks beyond my state (I’d be willing to bet that it does), but I just don’t get it. Specifically the lack of web presence. I’ve had local vendors admit that they do MORE business with tarantulas than they do the standard herp stuff, and yet it is still a blind grab on the customer’s part.
2016 folks, not 1998!
When I look at vendors such as Jamie’s Tarantulas, Swift Invertebrates, PetcenterUSA, KenTheBugGuy and on and on that HAVE current listings, up front pricing, delivery options and in some cases a B&M (Brick and Mortar) physical stores, I scratch my head over the excuses some of these shops come up with when asked about it.
To be fair here, Naturebox Pet Emporium is really quite new and has a nice portal, but the owner and his wife (co-owners) are pretty much dealing with everything. EVEN SO, it seems to me that a good portal would expand their reach and sales. $$$
Psalmopoeus cambridgei – young adult female – 4.2″

I’ve hit a magic (to me) number. I now am the keeper of 40 Tarantulas. While this is no biggie compared to some folks who are in the hobby, I would have never guessed I would not only be adding to my collection, but be as jazzed about it as I was with the first Tarantula I picked up over a year ago.

I’ve been a super fan of spiders since I was about eight years old. “Charlotte’s Web” did the trick. I remember not caring too much about the pig (mmmmm….bacon!), but I fell in absolute love with Charlotte, and remember crying when she died.
Since that time I’ve lived all over, travelled the world (military), and then got involved professionally in a busy IT career that included a ton of travel. Keeping critters be it 4 legged or 8 just wasn’t in the cards for a very long time.
So I stayed “inactive” but followed along with articles and information as it came available. I observed the “true spiders” in the wild when I could, and finally, FINALLY I changed things up in my life to write (still doing that!!!) and realized that I COULD get involved with a hobby again. I started researching the tarantula stuff, and that they say, was that.
At this point, I am a “collector” of species. I care for many different types of Tarantula from disparate places such as India, the Philippines, South America, Africa and parts of the good ol’ US of A.
I also have fish and coral aquariums. The original intent was to use the aquariums to humidify the rooms as Denver is a dry dry (did I mention DRY?) climate, and additionally having baseboard heat, my apartment is humid level sub-nuthin minus nuthin…carry the nuthin…’
The goal succeeded, and I rekindled another old hobby that I had been involved in many years ago.
That said, you follow your passion before your “likes”. Tarantulas are as exciting and interesting to me now as day one. Aquariums…not so much. I like them, and will keep a few, but I’m backing away from the more involved set ups. When one isn’t truly excited about something, the work becomes a drudge, and this isn’t something I want to have happen to an interesting hobby.
Brachypelma smithi – unsexed young adult – 3.3″

So, yapping away like I haven’t really blogged in awhile, what is next?
Welp, writing continues, slowly, but it is my itch to scratch, and I won’t turn it into a “job”. The “job” is driving people around, and I absolutely still love doing that, so yeah, that continues.
Tarantula keeping? I’m going to expand my collection a bit more, and start researching the breeding side. Not to have a zillion arachnids about, but to explore another facet of the hobby.
The demand for these critters has been increasing quite a lot in the last few years, and while there IS some money involved, I’m quite happy where I am, doing what I’m doing.
My thinking here is similar to the aquarium trade…breeding locally allows species to avoid extinction, and there are several species in the tarantula world that are becoming extremely endangered due to over harvesting, deforestation and such.
I am NOT a “greenie” by any stretch, but by extending my interests into the breeding game, even a little, I can make the world a little better. I like that.
So there you have it, a wall of stuff after a bit of a hiatus on the ol’ Overnight Cafe!
I’m going to start posting a bit more about my take on all things spiderly, and will be working on some more custom enclosure stuff fairly soon. (I’m finally getting good enough at acrylic cement to dare to try and build out some completely original enclosures…should be fun.)
Lastly, a HUGE thanks to Tom Moran of Tom’s Big Spider blog for his work, education and video blogging. I am proud to consider him a long distance friend and fellow “head”.

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